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Comanche Feats of Horsemanship, 1834–35
oil
24 x 29 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

All of the "untouched" Plains cultures Catlin most admired had been affected by Europeans, in no way more dramatically than by the acquisition of horses from the Spanish. An enthusiastic horseman himself, Catlin considered the Comanche the best of all Plains equestrians. He pointed out their adaptations of such Spanish techniques as the use of the lasso as well as practices they had developed on their own, including the use of their horse's body as a shield when firing upon enemies with bows and guns.


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